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The share of online retail in the developed countries of the world is 10-15%, and this market continues to develop rapidly. The buying process has changed a lot due to mobile devices. Nowadays, you can buy almost everything online: from a regular ballpoint pen to a car. There are online supermarkets where you can order food, online stores selling clothes and shoes, personal computers, home appliances, cosmetics, household and garden products, handicrafts.
Online stores are quite economical to manage and maintain. The owner of such a website does not need to have a physical store, to pay rent, and to bear the cost of wages for a large staff of employees. With this, you can open an online store in just a couple of clicks. It is enough to register a domain, to choose a good hosting and a convenient content management system. But why do some online projects grow and develop, while others do not bring profit at all? What makes a successful online store? Let’s try to find answers to these questions.
Online retail – ingredients for success
There is a stereotype that it is easy to do online sales, because online provides access to millions of potential buyers. But without work and a systematic approach, nothing will come of it. Doing business online is, first and foremost, low overhead and a small barrier to entry. But creating a successful online store is not easy. You need to earn the trust of your customers. Consequently, the main goal to be achieved in the process of creating an online store is convenience. Each page of your ecommerce site should be thought out to the smallest detail and be as user-friendly as possible.
The homepage is the main page of the online store, the sign, the face of your company. There shouldn’t be a lot of information on it. Everything should be easy to read and clearly understood. A good home page should give you an idea of the online store. During the first few seconds spent on your site, the visitor should understand what products or services you are selling. On the home page, you can also place links to the main sections of the catalog or important products overview, or product categories. In addition, banners with information about discounts, special offers or current promotions can be placed here as well. The homepage also often includes contacts, a feedback form or live chat.
Category pages of an online store are analogous to the departments of a physical store, in which goods are laid out on the shelves in a certain sequence. You must make finding the right product as easy and convenient as possible. To do this, you can use infinite scrolling, quick product views, sorting by price, reviews count, bestsellers, etc.
Category pages can contain product photos and brief descriptions, ratings, new items, any other useful information. Anything that will help the buyer to find the products he needs, perhaps compare them and put them in the cart to make a purchase.
Both for an online hypermarket and for a small online store the product page is a very important page. It should contain information that will not only interest the buyer, but also convince him or her to make a purchase. Therefore, all information that you want to communicate to the buyer about a product or service must be carefully thought out, well-structured and organized in a convenient form.
Images must be of high quality and scalable. There should be a lot of them. Product images on the website of an online store should compensate the buyer for the inability to touch this product, try on clothes, for example, study the material. The description of each product must be unique and, if necessary, contain technical characteristics. It’s great when you have the opportunity to add a video review of a product. In addition, the product page must contain the current price. On this page you can place the buttons “Add to cart”, “Buy”, “Add to wishlist”.
A little more marketing
There are many ways to significantly increase your online sales. In each case, you need to check several different methods of promoting a product or service, compare their effectiveness and choose the best one for your ecommerce project. To this end, you have to develop a marketing plan.
When launching new products or promotions, you can use countdown landing pages. You can also provide registered users of your site with coupon codes for various reasons, give discounts for Christmas or birthday. Gamification of the site can give a good result. People love to have fun and earn points by playing a game on the site or by answering questions.
Don’t forget to also set up Google Analytics code. This will help you track ecommerce and measure your performance. Google Analytics reports cover pretty much everything you need. Periodically compare your online store with competitors and try to do more, provide customers with additional service.
Is it worth all the effort?
Now you know a little more about how to create a successful online store. It is a tricky job. In order to maximize customer satisfaction, Amazon is launching delivery drones, shops without sellers and mobile assistants. IKEA develops applications that can be used to virtually “try on” furniture from a store to see if it fits into the interior. Give your customer the best and your hard work will be rewarded!
About author: Sandra Parker works as Business Developer in TestFort and helps enterprises to accelerate their businesses through custom software development and testing. She loves coding and managing projects.